ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
I am preparing a presentation to our General Managers about our BDC operations and it got me thinking about how BDC's have changed in recent years. When I started in the car business in 1998, the BDC generally consisted of a couple of reps who were usually the poorest performing salespeople who had to earn their way back on the floor and a BDC Manager who was generally the most tech savvy person in the store a.k.a. the "Computer Guy or Gal."
When I look at the current makeup of BDC's, I see BDC reps who are excellent appointment setters, have strong phone and email skills but what I don't see are people who have ever sold a car. Most have never been on a test drive, spent an afternoon with a customer only to hear "I'll think about it" and never desked a deal or at least understand how deals are structured. This system made sense when the Internet Department accounted for 10-15% of the dealership's business but in store's like ours, the Internet Department accounts for 40% of our business and the BDC reps are interacting with thousands of new customers every month.
In my opinion, in store BDC's need to be managed by experienced sales managers who know how to desk deals, handle objections, understand buying signals and in general, add car sales experience to the BDC process. I don't think we can afford to have this many potential deals being handled by reps who have no practical car sales experience. The reps are still vital to the process but the person overseeing them can't simply be the best BDC rep who got promoted to BDC Manager. More and more of the Road to the Sale is taking place online and we need to get our managers to interact with these customers earlier in the process. One of the most common phrases I hear is "Just get 'em in and we'll sell them." The problem with that thinking is that the deals are taking place online and over the phone so we need to realize where our customers are making their buying decisions.
Do you have your sales managers reviewing your Internet leads? I would like to get feedback from anyone who is having success with this format.